BlogInsights from the human capital management corner

Subscribe to our blog

Are We Allowed To Ask Employees About Previous Worker's Comp?

Posted by Eric Daniel on Sep 7 2016

Common customer question #16: Are we allowed to ask about an applicant's previous work-related injuries and workers' compensation history during an interview? No, an employer may not ask about work-related injuries or workers’ compensation history in an interview.

A construction worker cutting steel

Asking about injuries may elicit information about a disability, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you may not ask disability-related questions until after you make a conditional job offer to the applicant. At that point, you may ask these kinds of questions only if you do so for all candidates for the same job and demonstrate that the questions are legitimately job-related and relevant to the needs of the business.

Unlike asking about injuries, we do not recommend asking about workers’ compensation claims even after making a conditional offer. The question would not be job-related or consistent with business necessity, and it is unlawful to retaliate or discriminate against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

If you’re concerned that an applicant may not be able to do the tasks of the job, you can ask whether they can perform the specific job functions with or without reasonable accommodation. You should not, however, ask whether the employee needs accommodation in an interview as this could reveal that the employee has a disability.

Topics: Employee Benefits


As HR professionals, we are most interested in the intersection of the HR practice, technology and business results in today’s organizations. We have a strong interest in areas like recruiting, payroll, benefits, and ACA management, and the technology that manages these areas of interest.  We also keep an eye towards the thousand other areas that impact HR Generalists at every level (VP, Director, Manager, etc.). This Blog does just that.

Latest Posts

Interested to learn more about how we can help you solve

All of your HR Management problems?

Contact Us